tv Studio 1.0 Bloomberg May 25, 2015 8:00am-8:31am EDT
♪ >> he has built some of the world's biggest pop stars, justin bieber, ariana grande, korean sensation psy, and "call me maybe's" carly rae jepsen. it started when scooter braun stumbled across a youtube video of a kid in a canadian talent show. that kid was justin bieber. braun is the manager who catapulted him to superstardom. but as the music industry goes
through dramatic transformations, braun is reinventing his own empire, producing movies and tv shows, investing in tech companies like uber and pinterest, and looking for more stars he can make along the way. joining me today, rising. you were raised in connecticut. >> that's true. >> the son of an orthodontist and a dentist. did you ever in a million years think you would be dominating pop music? >> i don't know that i am dominating pop music. i am just having a good time. when i was younger, i thought like every kid that i wanted to play in the nba and nobody told me i would grow up to be 5'11". when thing led to another. i read a couple of books that kind of inspired me and here i am. >> what kind of music was scooter braun listening to when he was 13 years old? >> 13? that was my bar mitzvah circuit. "i like to move it, move it." i was a big michael jackson fan.
i like boys to men. i loved biggie. i was the first kid in the suburbs who liked biggie. my roommates were from harlem. i went back to these suburbs and when it was on the radio, i felt i owned it. it gave me for the first time the sense of self discovery. >> can you dance? >> my first job ever was dancing at bar mitzvah weddings on the weekends for $150. >> what was your instrument? >> my ear. i knew what songs to make people dance. >> one of the values of your company is have a superhuman work ethic. what's the origin of that? >> i think originally it came from guilt. my grandparents were holocaust survivors and my parents did not grow up with a lot, really
nothing. knowing i was the first generation to have a little bit of something, i wanted to not receive anything and i wanted to work harder than everyone to make my own mark in the world. >> you went to college but school did not suit you, it seems. >> yeah, i went to emory university in atlanta. i found myself wanting to do business, not wanting to sit in class. unfortunately, i started selling fake ids for about two months and then i realized i was going to get caught. i was really good though. >> you became a promoter, a party promoter when you were 19? >> yes. i was throwing all the 21 and up parties and i was 19. the reason i dropped out of school was there was a guy who sat me down and told me the story of robert woodruff, the guy of coca-cola, the largest endowment at emory. i thought, this is great. he gets me. at the end, he tells me that robert woodruff was one in a billion and a chance of you being a robert woodruff is impossible. you need to stay in school and let go of this pipe dream. i said thank you very much. he said, so we're cool? i said, yeah, i am dropping out of college. >> do you think he was wrong?
>> i don't think he cares. i want my kids to go to college. [laughter] it wasn't that. i don't like the fact that he told me i shouldn't believe in my dream. while we are young, this is when we should take chances. >> what was your dream? >> at the time, i read a book of one of the founders of dreamworks, david geffen. and then i read a book about richard branson. i just wanted to be an entrepreneur. >> you became quite the celebrity on the atlanta hip-hop scene. ludicris and cee-lo were going to your parties.
brittney spears. >> i was a good party promoter. got to a point where i was not throwing their parties. they were going to mine. >> when was your big break? >> giving me an opportunity opened up a whole world for me. but it could have been steve rivkin. he was the first person to give me a record deal for asher roth when no one did. >> in the early days, how were you looking for talent? >> everyone thinks that every act i have ever signed has blown up because we have been on a crazy run. but i had to learn the hard way. >> i failed. >> what is the myth of scooter braun and what is the reality? >> there is a myth about the greatest entrepreneurs that are boiled down into legend. >> the myth is that i plug them into this machine. it is hard work. every single day is hard work and i think there was a point in my career when i felt i had done such a good job that i went from being ok scooter braun entrepreneur to being justin bieber's manager. i think people think that success is this beautiful glamorous thing. i get paid for the [beep]
>> justin bieber, psy, arianna grande, what is your secret? >> sometimes it is a gut thing. i know what it is. i know what to do. psy, in korea, does 80,000 people anight. the gangam style was a phenomenon here. justin is one of the most talented people i have ever met. he has so much pressure on him. growing up in front of the entire world. but i think he is handling it fairly well and he will learn from his mistakes and become a better man for it. arianna has one of the best voices i have ever heard in myentire life. >> how are you different from other managers? >> my style is family. people say you should not mix business with pleasure and i think that is bs. personally, if you care about someone, you do care about them, you will stay up the extra hours to do something for them and vice versa. i have been called stupid by plenty of my mentors who say you are too close. but i think it is better to feel than not feel. >> how do you make sure some of these artists are not just a flash in the pan? >> my promise is not that i will make you the biggest superstar in the world and you will have the longest career of all-time. >> arianna grande, how much longevity does she have? >> she is an incredible young artist. there are very few people on the planet who can sing like that. it is really on her. she is 21 years old now. as long as she keeps making the right music, it can last forever. >> carly rae jepsen, when i hear the song "call me maybe," i cannot stop singing. is she more than a one-hit wonder?
>> technically, carly did "good time" too. which was three times platinum. so, i've already proven she's not a one-hit wonder. >> ok, a two-hit wonder. >> she has more. >> bieber heard her song on the the radio and brought her to you. did you ever foresee how it would take off? >> yes. i will not lie to you. i thought it would be massive the first time i heard it. the first time i heard justin, i knew i could get him to be a worldwide popstar. i knew in my gut. it's like falling in love. "call me maybe" it was like that. with "gangnam style" i heard "macarena" and "informer" at the same time. i said, wait a second, people will do this dance and go crazy and kids who don't know how to speak. people will try to learn -- "gangnam style."
no clue what they are saying. [laughter] i called scott manson who sent it to me. i said find this guy. 60,000 views, it is going to be a huge hit. >> you found him at 60,000 views? >> yes, 66,000 views. >> now over 2 billion. >> everyone said the same thing. there is no way you will be able to make this record work. it's a korean pop song with a heavyset korean guy dancing. >> what happened when you saw the video of justin bieber? >> a 12-year-old kid who had i think eight videos at the time. he was singing at a contest at a church. i was consulting for akon on a different artist and i was watching youtube videos of that artist telling them what i thought of it. they were singing aretha frank was "respect."
in related videos, there was a kid in the distance and it was a little tiny thing and i thought it was the same person. i clicked on the 12-year-old kid. >> so it was an accident? >> yes and then i watched another video and another video. then i saw him singing neo's "so sick." when i saw this little canadian kid with so much soul, i knew there was something there. >> you were the first belieber. you flew his mom and him to live next-door to you. >> they were canadian. i brought them here illegally and hid them here illegally. i put them up in a townhouse under my name. >> you pay the bills. >> yeah, and i got a tutor and they became my family. it has been a rough year for me watching him because i care about him. you don't want to see him going through stuff. but to see him coming out on the other end of that right now and knowing the plans for next year and the fact that, you know, he is a kid. i have had to learn that it's ok to let him step on that rake and
let it hit him in the face. he has learned from his mistakes and he will be a better man for it. he gets it. he said, i went shopping in france and all i want to do is go down the street and shop. i don't want to bother anybody that there were 14 cameras around and 200 reporters. i said, don't get angry, it's your life. i think he has become a young man. i'm proud of him. >> what kind of advice are you giving him? >> through the last year, i've argued with him. we got in a huge fight. i was frustrated. i don't want to see him go through crap. >> you see so many sort of kids that can spiral out of control in hollywood. how do you manage that as their
manager? when you are dealing with teenagers? >> honestly, it is like parenting. when people go through stuff, you have to be a rock. you have to be solid. you can't be contradicting yourself. you can't be a yes man. justin got discovered because people thought he was raw on the street singing and playing guitar. ♪
>> technology is changing and social media is moving so fast. people can listen to music so many different ways for free. how do you encourage your artists to change, to innovate in their own career, to manage that? >> i don't think you can fight the times. you have to come to terms with the fact that album sales will never be what they were. but consuming the music is at an all-time high. the sharing of music worldwide has never been this big before. you have to change perspective. if they listen to something on spotify or they discover
something on pandora or they see a youtube clip of an artist or on vine or instagram or any of these platforms or they are discovering a fan club and they become obsessed with it, i tell my artists make music that people are going to love, make music that you love, be of great performer, do your job, and be authentic about it. the consumer will dictate what they want. my job is to make sure that as many people turn their heads and give them a shot as possible. i tell them have fun, let me worry about it. >> what are you worried about? >> are we innovating? are we disrupting? are we waking up every morning and saying, ok, what cool [beep] can we do today? >> how are you disrupting on the backend? how are you promoting disruptively? >> i'm using new media. i'm figuring out what cars go down what highways. i am hiring young, smart,
innovative people and saying teach me. it is just thinking outside the box. when people say that's crazy, ok, good, we found it. the moment someone says that's crazy, usually i run in that direction. >> you've been compared to elvis presley's manager, who was criticized for being too controlling. how do you respond to that comparison? >> it is flattering to be compared to anything and elvis. i'm never going to take the commission that guy took. that's the first thing. >> how do you structure the business relationship? >> i structure it fair. i structure it industry standard and i try to over deliver and i try to do as may jobs as i can for the price of one so my artist doesn't have to go too many places and there are not
too many chefs in the kitchen. that may be where the criticism comes from, always trying to control too much. what i'm trying to do is get as many jobs done in one place, so it's a one-stop shop. >> how can artists make money in unexpected ways, if not with an album or touring? >> you can build brands just like culture. jimmy iovine just showed it with beats. he took all the culture of all the artists he had relationships with and he built an empire. >> what you think about apple bringing dre and jimmy iovine onboard? >> i would never hold that against them. i don't know their exact plans. i know is brilliant. i met dre a couple of times and i know jimmy. you don't bet against a guy like jimmy. >> what about apple? i know you are an investor in
spotify, there's pandora. can they continue to dominate music? >> i don't know that it's domination. i think there is enough room for all these platforms because people want to consume in different ways and there's so much content. >> you are also a tech investor. >> yeah. >> you invested in tech. spotify, uber, pinterest. how are you getting into these deals? what attracted you to technology? >> because i missed one. when i was in college, facebook launched. i actually e-mailed the creator of facebook, which was on the contact page. there was one profile picture and responded with eduardo saverin. head of business affairs, thank you for reaching out. we went back and forth. i didn't know what it was going to become. i said we should build this thing. i still have the e-mail. mark has decided to launch 36 more schools in two weeks. at this time, we are not bringing any investors in and we don't want to do a deal. >> you are making movies. "the giver."
"jem and the holograms." you are making tv shows. how is that different from making music? >> my mom isn't very impressed with anything i do in music. but introducing my mom to meryl streep at the premiere of "the giver," it's ok now that i dropped out of college. >> it is doing pretty well. >> one more time. monday, 9:00. doing pretty good. the same guy who found psy brought walter o'brien to meet me. maybe we could do something on tv or film. we just went on this run together. to see the success and how much people are loving the show, it has been so much fun. >> tell me about ithaca. >> i never talk about that. i believe there is power in numbers and power in collaboration. i believe that managers and creative's and everyone should come together and work together
in alliance. i put together a group of my friends, and it is simply that. it is an alliance of guys who get together and meet and try and help each other build their businesses, because there is more than enough to go around. >> so this is a fund. >> there is a fund aspect that i put together. when we have ideas and we want to go after things together, we can. >> what is the next big trend in music? what is coming? >> voices. that's what i'm seeing right now. >> you mean someone that can actually sing? >> i love the fact that everyone i've signed can actually sing. justin -- i discovered -- people fell in love with the fact that he was raw on the street playing his guitar and singing his head off. >> how much potential is there to make more? >> when i did it with justin, there were so many people who said you can't sign acts off of youtube. now people want to see the youtube. i want to see the visual.
i think it is happening over and over again. i think we have lots of stars who come from social media and we are going to have a lot more. that is how people are discovering it. >> philanthropy is very important to you. giving back. how do you integrate that in your work? >> every component of what we do, every aspect of what we do has to have the charity involved. every dollar we make has to have some kind of charitable component involved. with our shows, we try to give a dollar from every ticket sold to charity and i have never had an artist say no to that. >> you have been on so many lists, the times 100 most influential people. how old are you? >> 33. >> you are only 33? what is next for scooter braun? >> don't tell my clients i'm only 33. i think i am in the best phase of my life right now. i just got married. over the next five to 10 years, my real priority beyond that is that i want to build a family.
i think that is something i am really proud of and more young people should see people in the entertainment industry who are successful and know that you don't have to give up everything to have that. >> so you can't sing. you can't dance. you can't really play an instrument. >> it's like a phil collins song. >> but you can do pretty good impressions. [laughter] presidents, i hear. president obama. >> [mimicking president obama] my wife michelle, my daughters sasha and malia, i just want to say from my days in chicago, from the top to the bottom, we are going to bring it back, move it forward very we fast-forward. we are going to create change and we are going to bring it
emily: he's behind one of the greatest innovations of our time. marc andreessen invented the world's first popular web browser and co-founded netscape, bringing the internet into our lives and changing our world forever. two decades later, he sits on the boards of facebook, hp, and, until recently, ebay. his venture capital firm andreessen-horowitz backs some of the hottest companies, like twitter, airbnb, and pinterest. i sit down with marc andreessen at salesforce's dreamforce conference in this special edition of "studio 1.0."